5 years ago

Faktum – you will have never seen a hotel website like this before

At a brief first glance, Faktum Hotels looks like any other of the image-heavy, well-designed hotel websites kicking about on the internet these days.

But Faktum is no ordinary hotel brand.

In fact, it is nowhere near to being a website dedicated to selling hotel rooms – rather, Faktum is a neat way of highlighting and attracting donations to the homeless in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Visitors to the site are shown ten different “rooms” used by the homeless around the city – such as an underpass, disused paper mill, park bench, forests, dock, even under the seating area at a football stadium.

Each has its own, tourist-like description. The underpass, for example:

“Feel the city’s pulse from dawn to dusk at Gullbergsvass. This delightful dwelling is just a stroll from the romantic Dreamer’s Quay: a source of inspiration to musicians and artists alike. And all under the noble eye of the Skansen Lion from his centuries old fortress.”

Users can then “book” the room, essentially a SK 100 (around $15) donation to the charity. Adding extra nights to a stay at the property increases the donation.


Faktum is the city’s street newspaper and the project came about as a way to help the approximately 3,400 people sleeping rough in the open air in the Gothenburg.

The organisation, which enlisted the help of Thomson Interactive Media to create the site, says:

“Most of them [homeless] find a roof over their heads with a friend or at a refuge, but some sleep in the open air. We have chosen ten of the places where they might spend the night – and made it possible for you to book them. Just like any hotel.”

Here is a clip:

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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  1. Nick Fortunatus

    Kevin, I just wanted to thank you for featuring Faktum in this piece. Our travel company’s foundation supports work like this and it fits right in with our “Foundation Fridays” theme on our blog.

    I just posted a piece on Faktum, referencing this article, right here – http://www.untours.com/blog/hotel-homelessness.

    If the link doesn’t come through, it’s no problem. I’m tweeting it to you now!

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @nick – thx for the comment!

      i like your article, cheers for the mention and kind words about Tnooz, too 😉

      • Nick Fortunatus

        Thanks, Kevin.

        As a marketing guy who is relatively new to the travel industry, you guys have helped me stay up to speed on the important stuff in the industry.


  2. TravelSite.com - Chadwick Horn

    I don’t see how people can consider this as trivializing an obviously serious issue. Most just ignore homeless and don’t take into account the actual conditions that they are forced to live in. This, delivering in a way which is familiar (and less intimidating) with most, exposes the environment that these (usually) innocent people call “home.”

    Regardless of how the website displays the information, if it’s raising money for a good cause — GOOD JOB!

    The power of beautiful design, digital media and the viral affect is an amazing thing when done well — which this has been. Kudos Faktum!

    I hope my city of San Francisco can figure something out similar to this…

  3. Peter Fabricius - Springnest

    A beautiful example of how good design and the power of digital content addresses a real world problem. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Jeremy Head

    Certainly not exploiting it.
    But saying being homeless is like staying in a hotel… Hmm. If I’d been the marketing manager presented with the concept by my ad agency I’d have kicked it out of the room.
    But it worked to a degree as Kevin decided to write about it here…
    What does it really say though? The subtext is that the public need ever more clever gimmicks to get them to donate to charity maybe?

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May


      thx for commenting again… I agree with your last point – the public probably do need clever gimmicks to persuade them to donate to charity.

      Thus why we probably have high-profile fundraising TV shows once or twice a year, to trigger the people to give a few pounds/dollars/euros to good causes, rather than just waving a tin at people in the street.

      If this initiative bolsters the coffers of the wider Faktum project, raises awareness of the problem in Gothenburg, then it should be considered a success, I would argue.

      Certainly more creative than a calendar 😉

      • Jeremy Head

        Seen that you can book a ‘room’ for a friend. Tempted to book you a spot under that bridge, Kevin 😉 Semi-serious point… very risky… you can see it could kick off as a funny thing to do… book your mate a night in urinal or whatever that pic is of… but maybe that’s fine if it means in doing so you make a donation. It feels very Scandinavian to me. Here in the UK a tabloid could (Might?) have a field day with it…

  5. Joe Bühler

    Find nothing about that is trivializing or worse exploiting the situation. On the contrary an effective means to create attention and allow contribution at the same time. A lesson to charities in general.

  6. Jeremy Head

    Or you could say it’s completely trivialising homelessness… I’m not totally convinced…

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @jeremy – that’s a good point…

      but i suspect given that the organisers of the project are an existing charity focused on raising awareness of homelessness (and writing about it in a dedicated newspaper), then they probably agonised over that question and felt confident that it wasn’t the case.

  7. Emile - Olery

    The homeless of Gothenborg have a better site than lots of hotels. What does this tell us?
    Great marketing indeed, for a good cause.

  8. Duncan

    A very creative way to highlight a serious issue in all the world’s cities.

    I’ve given it a tweet and will promote on FB too!

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @duncan – nice one, thx… I’m sure they’ll be buoyed by the coverage here and in social media.


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